Political Animal


June 30, 2011 9:10 AM Mark Halperin and the Quote of the Day

By Steve Benen

It’s hard not to love that “liberal” media.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the three-hour program co-hosted by a conservative Republican former congressman, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin was asked for his assessment of President Obama’s White House press conference. “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin said.

If you can watch the video, note how Halperin, ostensibly one of the nation’s most influential pundits, was smiling, with a smug satisfaction. It wasn’t a word he just blurted out in the heat of a larger discussion — Halperin thought about it, asked about whether the broadcast was on a seven-second delay, and then took his shot.

A few minutes later, Halperin’s smile had disappeared. Apparently realizing he’d royally screwed up on national television, Halperin added, “Joking aside, this is not a pro-forma apology, this is an absolute apology, heartfelt to the president…. I shouldn’t have said it. I apologize to the president and to the viewers who heard me say that.”

Later in the program, Halperin apologized again, conceding that his carefully-chosen on-air words were “inappropriate” and “disrespectful.”

There are a couple of angles to keep in mind here. The first is that Halperin’s credibility as an objective observer of political events has long been dubious, at best, but this morning’s little stunt should remove all doubt. In candor, I don’t much care that Halperin sides with the right over the left, and takes cheap shots at Democrats. I care that Halperin is presented to the public as a neutral, even-handed expert, when that’s plainly not the case.

To this extent, the “dick” comment only helps bring an end to a thin pretense.

The other point that’s worth remembering is the larger dynamic. Forget Halperin’s choice of words, and instead consider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end.

If the president stays cool, he’s an emotionless Mr. Spock. If the president shows some fire in the belly, he’s “a dick.”

What passes for mainstream political punditry in 2011 is too often a national embarrassment.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • Live Free or Die on June 30, 2011 9:15 AM:

    So when is he going to resign? If a left wing reporter said something like this he would be gone by now. He is the editor of Time and one of the top guys at Politico. Or should we just leave him where he is completely neutered?

  • Texas Aggie on June 30, 2011 9:17 AM:

    This is one more reason why NBC is NOT the left wing equivalent of Fox. You want "fair and balanced," you need to watch NBC because they carry both points of view. Joe doesn't even try to be fair, but until they fired Keith, he was balanced by the left side.

    capcha gets worse all the time. No financial support for WaMo until it goes.

  • KurtRex1453 on June 30, 2011 9:18 AM:

    Typical Republucan tactics trying to change the subject with drama rather than face issues. To repeat myself.

    QUEEN Victoria would be embarrassed by the the current trends in increased American inequality of income, Republicans are not, I would be mortified to give a tax break to 
     yacht buyers when Texas has the 6th highest poverty rate in the nation. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/nation-world/nation/20100916-Texas-seeks-answers-to-rising-poverty-4755.ece 

    Sell-outs to big money all, the Republicans voted for Paul Ryan's proposed budget which would destroy Medicare and cut taxes for the wealthiest. 

    The point is that wealth is the result of their existing in a society which provided the services to them and their employees which allowed them to become rich. People and corporations (as  entities of the state) do not exist outside the context of the society in which they live, it being impossible to amass a fortune living like a hermit at the bottom of Grand Canyon. 

    As Howard Roark would point out, designing a building is not a collective activity, but  he does need people to build the thing. No other skilled people, no cool buildings.

    Owning a great fortune in America means you have used a vastly greater percentage of society's resources than the rest of us. Therefore you should pay a vastly greater percentage of your wealth in taxes to keep that society functioning.  If you scrimp on education, the engineers to support your company may not be graduated, the doctors which keep your workers healthy may not be available, the public managers which keep your courts honest may may not exist.

    A vastly complex first world country like the US needs a complex social and legal and technical infrastructure to keep it running. When that infrastructure breaks society collapses as we learned during the recent financial crisis.  

    Money in the form of taxes is the lubricant which keeps the wheels of society running so people CAN get rich. Destroy the supply of money to the government and you will destroy society.  Perhaps not today, but look at what a lack of financing to the SEC and deregulation of financial markets did for the economy, we had the worst recession since WWII.  Charming wasn't it? 

    Even Greenspan was shocked that firm managers would destroy their own firms because of their own greed. Let's not destroy society with sophistry, everyone needs to pay their fair share. Increase taxes on the rich and the corporations and use the money to rebuild our infrastructure with good people receiving good money for good jobs.

  • TR on June 30, 2011 9:19 AM:

    If anyone knows what being a dick is like, it's that douchebag.

    Fuck him. He needs to resign now.


    And seriously, Captcha is out of hand.

  • kevo on June 30, 2011 9:20 AM:

    Halperin just learned the hard way there are no real euphemisms for the word he and his fellow travelers want to say every time Barack Obama proves he's the smartest man in the room . . . . and that word? . . wait for it . . . Uppity!

    Halperin's disrespect to our highest elected office holder is untoward, and representative of a core disrespect we've been witnessing from the likes of Boehner, McConnell, and the rest of their lot!

    Until these "gentle" men are removed from the equation, our nation will continue to be mired in political filth! -Kevo

  • Brian R. on June 30, 2011 9:22 AM:

    Why does anyone care what this idiot thinks? Why is he so highly regarded?

    He reduces politics to an "Us Weekly" level of sub-literacy.

    Maybe I just answered my question.

  • Mike D on June 30, 2011 9:22 AM:

    Didn't someone on the left get declared persona non grata for having the balls (heh) to say "blowjob" on TV? I wonder if that set a precedent....

    But of course it didn't. This guy will continue to spew shit. Dammit.

  • September on June 30, 2011 9:22 AM:

    As usual, Steve Benen hits every note perfectly.

  • walt on June 30, 2011 9:23 AM:

    How I would love Obama's reputation to be a "dick" instead of a pushover. Halperin is probably just guilty of ordinary projection but for the rest of us, we know who the real dicks are. And they're diseased.

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 9:23 AM:

    Juxtapose their being miffed by gushing comments from Chris "Whither the Wind Blows" Matthews about the "Give 'em Hell, Harry" performance by Obama.

    er, TexasAggie, you really should watch the excellent counter work done by Lawrence O'Donnell. Far smarter than Keith in being an attack dog.

  • Mark on June 30, 2011 9:23 AM:

    So, where do we go to petition to get this ass off the air?

  • T2 on June 30, 2011 9:24 AM:

    He should be fired. This illustrates, for all to see, the fact that this president, this black president, is treated as illegitimate, not "our" president by the Right and it's Media mouthpieces. When Bachmann says "take our country back" is there any doubt that the unsaid part of the statement is "from the black guy"?
    Halperin is lucky he didn't just go ahead and say the n word along with his comment, thinking he was off the air.

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 9:24 AM:

    Most of our pun-twit's are still mentally stuck in Middle and High School.

    The Republicans are perceived as the cool jocks and cheerleaders, and the straight-laced, tie-wearing students.

    While the Democrats are the geeks, or the heads (dope smoking DFH's for you youngsters out there).

    And that's why most of our pun-twit's are dicks.
    Even the one's with c***s.

    And, why is it ok for people to say "dicks," but not "cunts?"
    I never use the "c" word in my writing, except like right now where I'm trying to make a point.
    Seriously, imagine if Halprin was talking about Hillary, or Pelosi, and called her a cunt, instead of calling Obama a dick. Can you imagine the shit-storm?

    PS: I am by no means advocating using that word. But differences like this interest me.

    PPS: Sorry if I offended anyone out there.

  • Stranger on June 30, 2011 9:28 AM:

    WTF was Halperin thinking? He's a paid shill who apparently believes that the president is not deserving of at least a modicum of respect, and he disgusts me.

    In a just world, the smackdown would come hard and fast on this cretin. But we don't live in a just world, and Halperin will suffer no sanction for this.

    Halperin is pathetic.

  • Ron Byers on June 30, 2011 9:28 AM:

    "(C)onsider the argument he and his “Morning Joe” colleagues were pressing. They were annoyed, apparently, because President Obama wasn’t docile and conciliatory during his press conference. He showed some backbone, and this seems to have troubled the political establishment to no end."

    Having read the early reviews on this board yesterday, I am sure early on a lot of us failed to recognize that the President wasn't docile and conciliatory in his presser. Oh what a difference a night of meme making makes.

  • matt on June 30, 2011 9:28 AM:

    How can Time and MSNBC keep him on staff? What kind of objective journalist says that about a sitting president?

  • Stetson Kennedy on June 30, 2011 9:29 AM:

    This is another example of the double-standard applied to all Obama does. He has to extremely cautious about appearing combative, lest he be called a "undiplomatic", "unpresidential", or... a dick.

    These words all mean the same thing - uppity. But race has nothing to do with it.

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 9:29 AM:

    Do not forget it was Halperin and EverMourning who gushed over Ryan's Budget. Even after criticism came in to the program a few days later, Halperin would not back down.

    Time and Politico - Where is any difference?

  • DAY on June 30, 2011 9:30 AM:

    Sadly, Joe & Co. is by far the best morning gab fest available, head and shoulders above the competition. They actually devote segments measured in minutes, not seconds, to relevant topics.

    That said, Joe is the dick.

  • bleh on June 30, 2011 9:33 AM:

    I think a lot of people are missing the point.

    Halperin knew perfectly well what he was doing, as did the people who allowed the remark to be broadcast.

    What clip will be endlessly replayed? His apologies? And does anyone think he and every responsible decision-maker at NBC didn't know that?

    It's not about news. It's not about analysis. It's not about distillation or clarification or exploration of issues. It certainly is not about the benefits of wisdom.

    It's about entertainment. Calling the president a "dick" is entertainment.

    Halperin and his colleagues know this perfectly well.

  • Han's Solo on June 30, 2011 9:33 AM:

    Isn't Halperin the guy who said John McCain not knowing how many houses he owned was bad news for Obama?

    I don't care that he is a wingnut pretending to be independent. That's par for the course. I care that he is a moron pretending to be smart. Any close reading of his prior statements shines a klieg light on his low intellect.

  • R on June 30, 2011 9:33 AM:

    Just went to the Time website to see where I can demand that Halperin be fired (since he apparently can't express himself without using vulgar language, for starters, and Kevo is exactly right about what Halperin wants to say). Instead, I was offered the opportunity to download "The Page app ... the tablet-friendly version of the popular real-time political news site run by TIME Magazine senior political analyst, Mark Halperin." It's "available free, thanks to support from ExxonMobil." Great.

    Consolation: Under Customer Ratings: "We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application." Wonder how Time defines "popular" -- supported by ExxonMobil, apparently.

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 9:35 AM:

    Well, Mr Byers, Chrissie certainly recognized the tenor of speech from the President. He kept talking about the comparison to HST and he finished his program with praising Obama for giving a "Give 'em Hell, Harry" talk. He even showed clips of Truman demanding Congress come back to work and pass bills.

    For some reason, Chrissie must have awakened in his seldom used some-what Democratic bed, instead of his normal sleeping quarters on the right side of his bed room.

  • DAY on June 30, 2011 9:36 AM:

    looks like gulag stepped over the line; too bad, as he was making a valid point. For those who didn't get a chance to read his post, he used the "c" word, and even apologized if it offended anyone. Apparently free speech is subjective here at Political Animal.

  • burro on June 30, 2011 9:38 AM:

    "...Halperin thought about it, asked about whether the broadcast was on a seven-second delay, and then took his shot."

    Chickenshit bastard. Gutless wonder. This is what the guy has to offer when he giggling behind his hand and thinks it's just an inside smirk among friends?

    His immaturity and vapidity are more offensive than the idiot word he squeezed out, and then realized he'd scared himself so bad he wet his pants.

    F'em all. They are a useless and disgusting lot.

  • jomo on June 30, 2011 9:38 AM:

    Great writing Steve. The guy is an absolute hack who is treated with deference as an objective source of information. However the backdrop to Obama's change in tone is being read as an ominous sign. It is being said that he is appealing to the American people because the debt ceiling talks are at an impasse.

  • DAY on June 30, 2011 9:38 AM:

    Curious; gulag's post, like the Cheshire Cat, comes and goes- at least on my computer!

  • Steve LaBonne on June 30, 2011 9:41 AM:

    It is being said that he is appealing to the American people because the debt ceiling talks are at an impasse.

    Yes, the idea of actually practicing democracy is the ultimate heresy to these Village fuckers.

  • Ladyhawke on June 30, 2011 9:41 AM:

    This is what has become of the Republican Party that Mark Halpern so desperately needs to defend. This editorial says it all.



    It's sad to see what has happened to the Party of Lincoln, and for that matter, the party of lesser mortals like George H.W. Bush of Texas, Bob Dole of Kansas and Jack Danforth of Missouri. No one ever would mistake them for liberals, but they were statesmen who put country before party.

    Today we have the spectacle of smart, patriotic men and women putting their brains and integrity on ice to please a party dominated by anti-intellectual social Darwinists and the plutocrats who finance and mislead them.

    Consider the mythology that makes up GOP orthodoxy today. Imagine the contortions that cramp the brains and souls of men and women of intelligence and compassion who seek state and national office under the Republican banner.

    � They must believe, despite the evidence of the 2008 financial collapse, that unregulated � or at most, lightly regulated � financial markets are good for America and the world.

    � They must believe in the brilliantly cast conceit known as the "pro-growth agenda," in which economic growth can be attained only by reducing corporate and individual tax rates, especially among the investor class, and by freeing business from environmental rules that have cleaned up America's air and water and labor regulations that helped create America's middle class.

    � Though rising health care costs are pillaging the economy, and even though health care in America is now a matter of what you can afford, Republican candidates for office must deny that health care is a basic right and resist a real attempt to change and improve the system.


    Note: Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC The Last Word read this editorial last night in his segment called "The Rewrite".

  • Ron Byers on June 30, 2011 9:42 AM:

    As to Mr. Halprin I suspect he will be on again tomorrow and his job at Time is secure. He is paid by a bunch of people who really think Obama is a dick and that the middle class of this country are patsies and suckers to be fleeced.

    The truth is Obama hasn't given in to the Republicans on the debt ceiling. Yesterday he laid the mess at their feet. They picked it because they thought he would fold. I suspect he won't. The Republicans are going to loose.

    Early on I bought into the argument that Obama was a push over, but I have changed my mind. He picks his fights carefully, but when he fights, he is iron and is the smartest man in the room. I suspect he knows the "Art of War" front to back.

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 9:43 AM:

    Give 'em Hell, cundy, Give 'em Hell.

  • John Dillinger on June 30, 2011 9:45 AM:

    His use of the term is ironic, given that he is no smarter than a bag of them.

  • Mr. Serf Man on June 30, 2011 9:45 AM:

    Gee Whiz . I am certainly shocked that Halpern and Mourning Joe who make enormous amounts of money talking shit on the TEEVEE and are most likely benefiting from the tax break for millionaires , don't support our president.

    Seriously 99% of the talking heads have difficulty being objective because they know who signs the paycheck. It ain't Obama.

  • Han's Solo on June 30, 2011 9:51 AM:

    Start the countdown clock, the effort to tar Obama as "the Angry Black Man" has now begun.

    If you thought the silliness the wingnuts generated over the New Black Panther Party, the Ground Zero Mosque and the Birth Certificate was over the top, you aint seen nothing yet.

  • jdb on June 30, 2011 9:53 AM:

    Step 1: He resigns from Time/CNBC
    Step 2: He joins Fox
    Step 3: He wins the GOP nomination for 2012 - his campaign slogan: I Can Beat Dick!

  • burro on June 30, 2011 9:53 AM:

    So tell 'em what you think.


  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 9:54 AM:

    @Mr Serf Man, No different from the ABC Sunday morning show in the '90s, when Brinkly and his highly paid cohorts on that Sunday show were livid about Clinton raising taxes. "Oh my, how are we going to pay for our mansions?" They spoke and weeped with passion about how their personal pocket books would be affected.

  • NHCt on June 30, 2011 9:54 AM:

    Rather than get the vapors, the White House should embrace this. Presidents are elected to get things done. Sometimes he needs to be a bit of a dick to do it. The American people recognize we're in a bad way at the moment. They're not looking for politicians to hold hands, but get shit done. Obama needs to run with this.

  • John B. on June 30, 2011 9:55 AM:

    I'd respectfully argue here that Halprin's assessment of Obama's performance is right, but not for the reasons Steve assigns to Halprin. Obama _was_ being a bit of a jerk, most notably in contrasting his daughters' being proactive in doing their homework with Congress's lack of same; as Steve has exhaustively pointed out, in post after post and, now, for months, the Republicans' willful irresponsibility regarding not just debt ceiling negotiations but, more generally, the business of governing is itself pretty damned dickish behavior. We've reached the point where reasoned, calm debate isn't going to reveal that behavior for what it is, certainly not in press conferences. So, the oh-so-tempting option of saying "Grow the f*ck up!" not exactly being available to a President on national television, Obama instead brings in perhaps a more potent big gun, his daughters' work ethic regarding their homework, to draw attention to what Republicans are (not) doing. And good for him, calling to task the very party whose leaders are enamored of saying they want to have adult conversations. So: Good on Obama, I say.

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 10:00 AM:

    Those of you who pay any attention to my BS comments should know that I wasn't trying to be offensive.

    It was kind of like the George Carlin '7 words you can't say on TV.'

    Why is it ok, besides the fact that's it's a shorter version of "Richard," to say the "d" word, but not the "c" one?

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 10:00 AM:

    Quite a morning on "Mourning Joe" - From the insipid discussion of President Obama going on the attack to a RepuG shill discussing his new book about Palin's real quotes (Real, meaning, in his opinion)

    Hard hitting "news" hour.

  • Christopher French on June 30, 2011 10:00 AM:

    Mark Halperin developing a case of Weiner-itis? The study in self-portraiture--dick is him.

  • T2 on June 30, 2011 10:02 AM:

    Right Now on MSNBC the headline is "Why is Obama picking a fight over the debt ceiling"
    that angry black guy is at it again, trying to push us white folks around, steal our money.

  • jrosen on June 30, 2011 10:05 AM:

    Seconding Kurt: I'm sorry that I keep asking this question but do not get a response from any of the Randites who occasionally pop up on the sites I frequent. The question is: Who picks up John Galt's garbage?

    This is not a trick question.

    I got paid fairly well over a 40-year span recreating classical music for audiences ranging in size from 20 to 20000. over that time, maybe I made some people happier for a few minutes or hours and for that I was recompensed. But, as I will never forget, I was living in Brooklyn during the garbage strike of 1967-68. I had never seen such mounds of garbage on the sidewalks as I did in Park Slope those weeks, and was very grateful that it was winter. Had it been June or July, those piles would have quickly been swarming with vermin of all sorts, carrying diseases that could have been catastrophic for thousands of people.

    Today I am in Jersey City, where the garbage is picked up 3 nights a week...on my street they come around midnight, and I guess they work all night, lifting heavy bags and pieces of furniture into the crusher, in all weathers. It's obviously not easy and it can't be pleasant, as sometimes my work can be. But without those garbage men, I am in mortal danger, and without men like them, so are Howard Roark and John Galt, who never seem to realize this.

    So the contempt with which the Villagers and their puppet masters treat the "little people" is doubly contemptible, once for lack of simple human respect, and twice for not acknowledging all the labor that makes their cocooned and cosseted existences possible. I would not have garbagemen running the world, but I don't think it would hurt too much if those who do run the world had to pick up their own garbage once in a while.

    PS What do you do with a Captcha that is upside down?

  • TR on June 30, 2011 10:06 AM:

    Someone posted the MSNBC complaint form above. Use it!

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 10:08 AM:

    @cundy, at the KC Star sports pages, one can not even use the word "Dick" in any comment. KU lost a triple overtime Final Four game to NC in '57. The coach of KU, at that time, was Dick Harp. As I included his first name, my comment was rejected. Political correctness run amok.

  • Gov't Mule on June 30, 2011 10:09 AM:

    Spot on Steve. Halperin's choice of words was clearly premeditated. He asked about the delay, then Matthew Perry, er Joe Scarborough and Mika were joking w/ who was probably the producer or the engineer about the delay button and Halperin says it and they don't hit the delay. Hmmmm.

  • Brenna on June 30, 2011 10:10 AM:

    I've long know Halperin hates the president. He oozes it. Not only is his professional standing on the line, but he's writing a book about the upcoming election. Good luck getting anywhere near the president or his people after a cheap shot like that.

    Seriously, what was he thinking! Professional suicide. Wow! I'm shocked he stooped that low. You just never know about people.

  • Mr. Serf Man on June 30, 2011 10:13 AM:

    As it has always been and will always be.
    The Rich Rule
    The best commentary money can buy
    The best Government money can buy

    I think of Florida where Rick Scott spent 70 mil of his own money to buy the governors office.
    A job that pays around 200k
    He is in the process of turning the state over to private interests.
    We know where the payoff is .

  • yellowdog on June 30, 2011 10:15 AM:

    Halperin's got more angles than a geometry class. Premeditated insult followed by insincere apology. . . . as always, he wants to stay relevant, whatever that means in punditland.
    I would love some real accountability for these pundit-turkeys once in a while - a little pin in the side of the bloated gas-bag economy. Halperin's not a bad place to start. Can he be fired, suspended, or shut up for a while? Can he perhaps, get the network fined (God bless George Carlin) for saying that crude word on national TV at that hour of the day?

  • Barbara on June 30, 2011 10:21 AM:

    So what he REALLY meant was that Obama was a dick for not acting the way Halperin predicted he would -- you see, the collective meme is that Obama is weak and ineffectual and it his duty -- dammit -- to perform in line with what the pundits think, not for the pundits to revise their talking points to reflect reality. How much work is a guy expected to do when he's only pulling down half a mil a year from a news program? No soup for you!

  • R on June 30, 2011 10:26 AM:

    Barbara, you nailed it.

  • Larry Reily on June 30, 2011 10:38 AM:

    What Halperin really thinks, along with Ron Fournier (now writing over at National Journal as if he's trying to out-do the National Review)is that Obama was UPPITY yesterday.
    How dare Obama finally throw it back in the snarky faces of McConnell, Cantor et al.? Halperin was shocked.

  • T2 on June 30, 2011 10:43 AM:

    Halperin has been suspended by MSNBC. How soon will he be on FOX?

  • berttheclock on June 30, 2011 10:56 AM:

    "How soon will he be on FOX?"

    One mississippi, two mississippi..

    However, at FAUX, he must remember to use the "decorum" of O'Arrongantone and say, "With all due respect, Mr President, you are a dick".

  • blondie on June 30, 2011 11:08 AM:

    T2 - Yes, I saw he's been suspended "indefinitely."

    That is not enough. I want his a$$ FIRED. I'm boycotting MSNBC - even Rachel! - until he's terminated. If everyone as angry and disgusted as I am about this would do the same, they'll throw him off the cliff so fast ...

    And yes, I have already written both the show and the network to that effect.

  • ComradeAnon on June 30, 2011 11:23 AM:

    Obviously, another "Gotcha" question. Can't wait for Sarah's take on this.

  • Stevio on June 30, 2011 11:23 AM:

    Soooo Don Imus calls a Rutgers sports team "Nappy headed hos" and is fired in 10 minutes.

    Helprin calls the POTUS a "Dick" on national TV and ...wait...for the deafening ....silence...Nauseating

  • jjm on June 30, 2011 11:29 AM:

    You SAID it!

  • knightphoenix2 on June 30, 2011 11:35 AM:

    Just sent in my complaint to MSNBC.com, using Burro's link.

    If you haven't done so yet, please do so now.


  • SYSPROG on June 30, 2011 11:39 AM:

    Oh honest to GOD...you KNOW Halperin is a mealy mouthed little dbag and yet you are all up in arms about him saying 'dick' on NATIONAL TV??? REALLY? C'mon. What should be offensive to you is Joe playing the bully every time Mika opens her mouth. Today she was TRYING to make a comment on the media going for the fluff when talking about Sarah Palin and she said 'it's just like Paris Hilton' and Joe had a conniption fit about Mika comparing Paris to Sarah. As she tried to explain he kept shouting 'YES YOU DID. I HEARD IT. YES YOU DID' Keep that pesky woman in her place Joe and let's ONE MORE TIME debate the use of the word 'dick' on TV.

  • Hannah on June 30, 2011 11:45 AM:

    Great comments by KurtRex @9:18, cund gulag @9:24 (no offense taken by me at least) and jrosen @10:05

    Too bad that what this country needs is a general strike by anyone making less than 75K to show the ruling class that they can't function without us. Too bad because most people are pretty loyal to their employers and wouldn't dream of walking off the job. (or do we just say to our employers, like the Rs said to Wall Street before their fake vote on raising the debt ceiling, pay no attention, we're just joking around.) Then there's the fear of being fired in a lousy economy, lost pay, etc.

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 12:02 PM:

    Thank you Hannah.

  • Devin Gray MD on June 30, 2011 12:02 PM:

    This type of commentary is not useful to our political discourse. Name-calling? Name-calling from a seasoned political reporter? None of us, liberal, conservative, independent, press, or public, should resort to name-calling in our opinions. It's inflammatory, and it only weakens your position. Come on people! We can disagree without being disagreeable.

  • Ron Byers on June 30, 2011 12:04 PM:


    Most of the employers are pretty decent people. Mostly they are middle class and are being screwed as badly as their employees.

    Then there are the big feeling people running Wall Street, the fortune 1000 companies and K-Street. They are greedy a**holes who are more cartoon characters than real human beings.

    I agree that a general strike might get be needed if the Democrats don't start working for the people who sent them to Washington.

  • Vandal on June 30, 2011 12:06 PM:

    I watched the expanded version of the video and as they were wrapping up the session talking about the technology (or lack thereof) I heard Halperin say, jokingly I'm sure, "This could be the end of my career"

    We can only hope!

  • tamiasmin on June 30, 2011 12:22 PM:

    c u n d gulag at 10:00 asks, "Why is it ok, besides the fact that's it's a shorter version of "Richard," to say the "d" word, but not the "c" one?"

    I'm a little surprised you'd need to ask, but okay, I'll give it a non-expert try.

    The "d" word is usually meant as an insult, but it also implies "powerful, brash, devil-may-care, let-the chips-fall-where-they-may, screw-you." Lots of men would love to deserve that description.

    The explosive emotional force of the "c" word derives largely from the ten-thousand-year-old-and-still-not-ended disparagement of women as witless and sometimes troublesome playthings of men. It is in the same category as the "n" word, expressing total dehumanizing contempt. It is an oppressor's word.

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 12:34 PM:

    Believe it or not, I do get that it's an oppressor's word, like the 'n' word.
    I was trying to point out the dichotomy that exists in our language and culture not only with those two words, but with others - where one's ok and the other is suicide.

    And while I'm glad that Halperin's getting suspended for saying the word, I have no doubt that he'll end up just fine on FOX soon.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure that someone using the "c" word would ever work in media again.
    If they said it about Sarah or Michele, or another Republican, it would be a death sentence.
    But if it was said of a Liberal or Democratic female, that person would probably also have their own TV show on FOX: "This 'C-word' Is For Conversation, hosted by __________ ___________"
    It probably would have to be a female to survive saying it, though.

  • Ted Frier on June 30, 2011 12:45 PM:

    Halperin knows we are losing our democracy to a rich and powerful oligarchy so he needs to make sure he stays in the good graces of the rich and powerful. But the beltway establishment's treatment of Obama and the Democrats is the same one that Marc Thiessen spelled out in his WaPo Op Ed where he advised Republicans that they should compromise on nothing in the on-going budget talks because they don't have to. Democrats are the ones who have to act like adults, said Thiessen. They are the ones who have to prevent the US from defaulting on its debt and precipitating global capitalist meltdown, not Republicans. So, in exchange for not pushing the nuclear button Republicans should push for every concession they can get. That's the basic unbalanced attitude that Halperin and other villagers have toward Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are expected to be the crazies because they don't know any better and Democrats are supposed to turn the other cheek.

  • tamiasmin on June 30, 2011 12:50 PM:

    c u n d gulag,

    I hope you did not think I was suggesting that you are an oppressor. On the contrary, your comments always seem, civil, decent, and sensible. I merely wanted to say that the two words are by no means equivalent as insults.

    [Gulag's comment in question took us aback, too. We unpublished it temporarily and checked to IP to make sure the handle-stealing troll hadn't swooped early this morning. Realizing it was a legitimate comment, we republished it. -- Mods]

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 1:06 PM:

    I didn't take it that you thought I was an oppressor. And I appreciate your response and your explanation. Friends? :-)

    Sorry for the confusion (and thanks for looking out for me), but like I said earlier, I was trying to make people take a look at the two words in a George Carlin like manner.

    My mistake.
    As anyone can tell you - I am NOOOOOOOO George Carlin!
    Shouldn't try to be...

  • Roger Ailes on June 30, 2011 1:20 PM:

    Dick rules Mark Halperin's world.

  • stoney on June 30, 2011 1:28 PM:

    Where can I buy a Halperin tee shirt?

  • bardgal on June 30, 2011 1:45 PM:

    Perhaps Mark is a little scared that President Obama isn't the pushover all the GOP have taken him to be, and that this time, it's just a little more obvious that Obama is giving the GOP enough rope to publicly hang themselves.... a little more each day .... as we get closer to AUG 2nd.....

    And the longer the GOP waits for Obama to blink, the worse they look, and the more people will see them for the selfish corporate tools they are, who care only for their wealthy corporate owners/donors, and nothing for average Americans.

  • Jullian Restin on June 30, 2011 1:49 PM:

    Mark is being railroaded this was awesome tv, No wonder no one watches MSNBC. something is said that might be true and you suspend the guy.
    Tim Russert is turning over in his grave.

  • c u n d gulag on June 30, 2011 1:51 PM:

    Jullian Restin - go back to your room!

    The adults are trying to talk here.

  • bandit on June 30, 2011 2:31 PM:

    You people need to untwist yourself from your racist knots. He's the POTUS and he gets criticized, it's part of the job.

  • Anonymous on June 30, 2011 2:42 PM:

    @tamiasmin great comment!
    "The explosive emotional force of the "c" word derives largely from the ten-thousand-year-old-and-still-not-ended disparagement of women as witless and sometimes troublesome playthings of men. It is in the same category as the "n" word, expressing total dehumanizing contempt. It is an oppressor's word."

    And like the "n" word, I, as a woman am choosing to take that word BACK. So, when in regards to me, that's C^ntess to the rest of you.


    I also wrote MSNBC and told them Halperin was a c^nt for calling the POTUS a dick, and the producer as well for allowing it on the air.

  • dhampton100 on June 30, 2011 6:20 PM:

    For years I have felt that Mark Halperin was nothing more than a closet voice of the republicans who work to destroy our nation because they detest the fact that a black man is the leader of the United States of America. His cover has been pulled off-by him and it is no longer a secret to the rest of the country. This could not have happened to a more worthy person, other than Joe Scarborough!

  • rick on June 30, 2011 7:41 PM:

    For what its worth I just canceled my subscription to TIME, and I waited to speak to a representative so I could explain why. I spoke to a pleasant young lady who after listening to me, went on to say that "lots" of subscribers have called to cancel and that they have also receiced numerous calls from non-subscribers to complain as well.

  • tamiasmin on June 30, 2011 7:47 PM:


    "...the republicans who work to destroy our nation because they detest the fact that a black man is the leader of the United States of America."

    Do you really think they started so recently?

  • dsiggy on July 01, 2011 7:36 AM:

    What did he say that was wrong? More people think he's a dick than we probably care to acknowledge. I doubt Mark's apology was heartfelt but then does anyone, left or right really mean their apology when making such statements?

  • Notatall on July 01, 2011 8:12 PM:

    Supporters that respect the Office of the President of OUR country should, end subscriptions, cancel services and wear the phonelines out as well as boycott everything associated with Time Warner until this nonprofessional is fired!
    a serious lesson in the unemployment arena is in order!

  • Londo Dondo on July 04, 2011 7:04 PM:

    Are we going to Scarborough Fair? Ree..? It's Scar who is the weenie....

  • pewWhemaprele on October 27, 2011 9:14 AM: